Open Seminar in collaboration between Freeman’s and the Conviviality at the Crossroads network at Malmö University

7 June 2017, 13.00 – 18.00
Venue: Auditorium B2, Niagara building, ground floor, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö

13.00 – 13.15                 Welcome

Rebecka Lettevall, Dean of Malmö University’s Faculty of Culture and Society, Oscar Hemer, coordinator of theConviviality at the Crossroads network, and John Freeman, editor of Freeman’s

13.15 – 14.45            Freeman’s Home

Presentations and conversations

Rabih Alameddine

Kerri Arsenault

John Freeman

14.45 – 15 .00          Coffee break

15.00 – 15.30           Liz Faier: Between Dissonance and Harmony. A City Composed

15.30 – 16.30           Erling Björgvinsson & Ida Börjel: Fabulous Malmhattan

16.45 – 17.15            Oscar Hemer: Excerpts from The World Waltz.

17.15 -18.00              Writing at the Crossroads. Panel discussion.
Moderator & discussant: Anders Høg Hansen, Malmö University

About the speakers:

Rabih Alameddine is a Lebanese-American writer. He left Lebanon at the age of 17, for England and, later, the USA. He started his career as an engineer, before moving to art and literature. He has to date published five novels and one collection of short stories and won several literary awards, including the Guggenheim fellowship in 2002. His novel An Unnecessary Woman (2014), was awarded the Prix Femina Etranger in 2016. His most recent novel is The Angel of History (2016). Alameddine divides his time between San Francisco and Beirut.

Kerri Arsenault writes for LitHub and her work has appeared in various publications including Kirkus Reviews, and Freeman’s. She received an MFA from The New School in Creative Writing and attended Malmo University’s Communication for Development Programme. She is currently working on a narrative nonfiction book about her home state of Maine (Picador, 2019).

Erling Björgvinsson is Professor of Design at the Academy of Design and Crafts, Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg. A central topic of his research is participatory politics in design and art, in particular in relation to urban spaces and the interaction between public institutions and citizens. He currently heads the art- and design-led research project “City Fables” that focuses on the relationship between urban space, narratives and counter narratives. He has published in international design and art journals and anthologies.

Ida Börjel is a poet, currently living in Röstånga, Sweden. In her books of poetry, as well as in text/sound or art installations and performances, she has been enquiring into and trying to enact our contemporary, linguistic and societal conditions in relation to different forms of power, sovereignty and juridical systems. Working with the City Fables Group at Malmö University, she has been examining the ways that stories about sucessfull life in contemporary cities are negotiated, remediated and circulated. Ida Börjel is also a practicing translator.

Elizabeth Faier is an urban anthropologist who focuses on the ways people make sense and negotiate power, history, and identity within disjunctive social and physical spaces. Her research in Dubai examines how numerical concepts inform logics of space while new work in Malmö explores mobilities, infrastructure, and punctuations of place. She embraces alternative methodologies, genres, and writing possibilities within the ethnographic project.

John Freeman is the editor of the literary biannual Freeman’s and the author of two books of nonfiction, The Tyranny of Email (2011) and How to Read a Novelist (2012), as well as a forthcoming book of poems. He has assembled a collection of writing on inequality, Tales of Two Cities (2014), an anthology on New York City, to be followed by Tales of Two Americas, on the U.S. at large. The former editor of Granta, he lives in New York City and teaches at NYU. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Oscar Hemer is a writer of fiction and nonfiction and Professor in Journalistic and Literary Creation at Malmö University. He holds a Dr. Philos degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Oslo, Norway. Among his latest works are the dissertation Fiction and Truth in Transition; Writing the present past in South Africa and Argentina (2012) and the novel Misiones (2014), which concluded his Argentina trilogy. He is currently exploring the crossroads of Literature and Anthropology in the World Waltz project and co-editing the collected works of Borges in Swedish.

On invitation of the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR), ComDev’s Tobias Denskus attended a transnational thematic seminar on “Erasmus+ developing e-skills for jobs” hosted by the Latvian State Education Development Agency in Riga.

Discussing with more than 50 participants, mainly from the Latvian high school and education sector, Tobias spoke about “Communicating development & social change -Teaching child rights in the digital age” as one of only 3 male presenters of the 11 inputs during the day.

More details, including the agenda of the day and link to the presentations, most of them in English, can be found on agency’s website.

From a higher education research perspective, there were two main points to take away from the seminar: First, there is a need for a more critical engagement with the “digital skills” and “future of work agenda” which is dominated by employability concerns of the private sector. The potential downsides of the “digital economy” as well as the commodification of higher education definitely deserve more attention.
And second, the global debate on child rights, data protection and additional aspects of digital citizenship should be linked more directly to the “day to day” concerns of schools and the education administration which are already overwhelmed with demands for more and better education and have too little time for critical reflection.

P.S.: In the spirit of e-skills for jobs the morning selfie before the conference proved very successful on facebook ;)!

A new book, Methodological Reflections on Researching Communication and Social Change, edited by Örecomm colleagues Norbert Wildermuth and Teke Ngomba features new chapters by ComDev researchers, alumni of the program and many collaborators from Malmö and Roskilde University! The book expands the growing Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change series.

Official synopsis:
This book identifies the strengths and weaknesses of different methodological approaches to research in communication and social change. It examines the methodological opportunities and challenges occasioned by rapid technological affordances and society-wide transformations. This study provides grounded insights on these issues from a broad range of proficient academics and experienced practitioners.
Overall, the different contributions address four key themes: a critical evaluation of different ethnographic approaches in researching communication for/and social change; a critical appraisal of visual methodologies and theatre for development research; a methodological appraisal of different participatory approaches to researching social change; and a critical examination of underlying assumptions of knowledge production within the dominant strands of methodological approaches to researching social change. 

For ComDev researcher Anders Hög-Hansen the book has important significance as it remembers the work of his Malmö University colleague, the late Lajos Varhegyi:

It all began in December 2009, Lajos came along documenting a seminar in Dar Es Salaam and that led to a film collaboration between University of Dar Es Salaam (Fine & Performing Arts) students, Malmö University film students as well as ComDev students. After many years, adding Sören Sönderstrup excellent thesis work to it, a book chapter on young Tanzanian and Swedish filmmakers’ short films on life in the outskirts of Dar Es Salaam is now published. Lajos is not with us anymore, the article is dedicated to him, the pioneer of the film project.

The book also includes chapters by ComDev researcher Oscar Hemer and former ComDev teachers Julia Velkova and Zeenath Hasan as well as MA program alumna Karen Marie Thulstrup.

New journal article on Places, Landscape and Production of Memory

by Tobias Denskus November 28, 2016 Uncategorized

City Symphony Malmö: the spatial politics of non-institutional memory New article coauthored by ComDev’s Anders Høg Hansen and Erling Björgvinsson (Interaction Design, formerly Malmö University, now at Gothenburg) published in the Journal Media Practice, explores the function of media in the creation of non-institutional memory and discusses the complexities of participatory and spatially distributed filmmaking […]

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New journal article on ritualized peace research conference spaces in Germany

by Tobias Denskus July 5, 2016 Uncategorized

From Social Movement to Ritualized Conference Spaces: The Evolution of Peace Research Professionalism in Germany is the title of ComDev’s Tobias Denskus‘ latest research article just published in the journal Peace & Change: The article employs anthropological ritual theory and the concepts of symbolism and liminality to provide a theoretical framework for analyzing ethnographic insights […]

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Open Comdev web seminar: Community Radio for Change

by Mikael May 20, 2016 Uncategorized

Your browser does not support iframes. Live Tuesday, 24 May, 13:00 Swedish Time (11 AM UTC) and in Live Lecture for Comdev students With Anders Høg Hansen and Birgitte Jallov In what ways can community radio spark social change? This web seminar will cover the aspects of community radio, discuss why information matters and how the voices […]

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New MEDEA VOX podcast on Extremist Communication

by Tobias Denskus March 3, 2016 Uncategorized

Our media and communication colleagues just launched as new podcast program as part of their Medea platform. The first episode of Medea Vox discusses how political extremists use the internet and social media to promote their cause: Today we’re going to approach the topic of online communication from a different angle, thinking through the propaganda […]

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The Seeds Have Bloomed: The 4th ‘Women 100’ movement newsletter is out!

by Tobias Denskus February 1, 2016 Uncategorized

Since 2013 the movement Women 100 (Hundred Years of Immigrant Women’s Life and Work in Malmö) has tried to make visible and recognize immigrant women’s life and work in Malmö. The fourth newsletter (No 2 2015) is out now! A collection that in hardcopy size resembles a small book (a pdf version is available). The […]

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Welcome to the ComDev spring semester 2016!

by Tobias Denskus December 17, 2015 Uncategorized

Dear ComDev students! Thank you for choosing to study Communication for Development at Malmö University-and welcome (back) to our course! We just updated the Course Start Guide Spring 2016 and you will find important information regarding registration for the programme and key dates for your course introductions. The course start guide provides with the most […]

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Analysing Media Ethnography: Nordic-Kenyan PhD seminar, 15-18 March 2016

by Tobias Denskus December 12, 2015 Uncategorized

Call for Participants Analysing Media Ethnography– Exploring Ethnographic Inquiry and Analysis in Media and Communication Research Nordic-Kenyan PhD seminar, 15 – 18 March 2016 Course Description The PhD seminar is designed to give a hands-on approach to the analysis of ethnographic field material within media and communication studies. The course will provide an opportunity for […]

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